Munich, GermanyóDespite some lead-acid battery developments over the years, cold temperatures still lead to starting problems. This is primarily due to the compounded problem that batteries supply less power when cold, but engines require more power to start because of the increase of oil viscosity at low temperatures.
A possible solution to this problem is under development by iQ Power with their Smart Energy Management System (SEM). This features an intelligent battery. A microprocessor, jointly developed with Texas Instruments, is positioned inside the battery where it monitors the battery's condition and detects its state of charge (SOC) and state of health (SOH). The battery also incorporates an electrical heater system to keep the temperature of the battery cells at the optimum, depending on the momentary SOC and SOH situation. The solid polypropylene foam case provides thermal insulation as well as additional protection against shock and vibration.
Guenther Bauer, vice president of research and development at iQ Power, points out, "Since the SEM keeps track of the charge and discharge history of the battery, it optimizes the state-of-charge of the battery and provides a reliable indication to the driver." This represents the long sought-after battery "fuel gauge." Communications between the battery and the on-board computer in the car take place through the battery's main terminals. The signals are superimposed on the power-line current, so no extra wires are needed. When the move to a higher battery voltage is finally made, the SEM will also be able to operate with the 36V batteries that are envisioned.
To give some idea of the improvement battery monitoring and conditioning makes, iQ claims to improve cold loading capacity by up to 600 percent. In addition, by faithfully recording battery activity, the SEM will also enable easier service.
For more information about the Smart Energy Management System from iQ Power:Enter 563